Conservation Officer Van Damme recognized for service

One of 11 members of the Conservation Officer Service presented with Peace Officer Exemplary Service medals

Former Clearwater-based Conservation Officer Kevin Van Damme was one of 11 members of the Conservation Officer Service recently presented with Peace Officer Exemplary Service medals.

Environment Minister Mary Polak joined the Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, as she presented the medals to the conservation officers during their annual recertification training on May 2.

“The Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal is a tangible way to honour dedicated conservation officers for their years of outstanding public service,” said Guichon. “It is an honour to congratulate them on this achievement and thank them for their dedication and courage.”

As peace officers, conservation officers with 20 years of outstanding service may receive the exemplary service medal.

An expert in predator attack investigations, Van Damme enjoys sharing his experiences and knowledge amongst his colleagues and the communities he serves.

A former fisheries officer in Quesnel, Van Damme has spent 22 years as a conservation officer in Surrey, Clearwater and presently Kamloops.

Van Damme enjoys spending time with his wife of 22 years, Coleen, and their three teenaged sons: Brock, Cole and Reid. An avid sports enthusiast, Van Damme enjoys hunting and fishing.

He has coached several teams in the BC Summer Games, as well as provincial and western Canadian championships.

The other COs who received the medals were Chris Doyle, inspector; Adam Christie, retired sergeant; Len Butler, sergeant; Steve Jacobi, sergeant; Greg Kondas, sergeant; Tobe Sprado, sergeant; Gord Gudbranson, conservation officer; Peter Pauwels, conservation officer; and Don Stahl, conservation officer

British Columbia’s Conservation Officer Service is the Province’s primary responder to human-wildlife conflicts where there is a risk to public safety, conservation concerns or where significant property damage has occurred.